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Rays release new renderings of an 'intimate' replacement for Tropicana Field

Inside view of the stadium
Tampa Bay Rays
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Courtesy
The Tampa Bay Rays released new renderings and details on the new ballpark and development that would replace Tropicana Field for the 2028 season.

The 30,000-seat stadium would include an open feel, including a pavilion, and is envisioned as a multi-purpose facility that could be used for concerts and festivals.

The Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday released new renderings and details on the new ballpark and development that would replace Tropicana Field for the 2028 season.

The plan to redevelop the Historic Gas Plant District in St. Petersburg includes 5,000 residential units, 600 affordable/workforce housing units, 1.4 million square feet of office/medical space, and 750 hotel rooms, according to a news release.

But the centerpiece would be a new, multi-purpose baseball stadium that would be smaller but provide fans with a more up-close experience.

“Our baseball park will be the most intimate and inviting in the sport,” Rays President Matt Silverman said in the release. “The park is designed to bring our fans as close to the field as possible, to create a distinctive, compelling game experience.”

(Below are details on the stadium and development:)

The ballpark itself would seat 30,000 fans, with field view from all concourses within the stadium. It would also feature a pavilion design and an open feel with large windows, doorways and terraces.

In addition, a front porch draws upon the nostalgia of the district, a "place where the community gathers and a platform where stories are told," according to plans design firm Populous presented to the St. Petersburg City Council.

“Designing this next-generation major league ballpark and development together within the heart of a great city is something that has never been done before,” Populous Principal Architect Zach Allee said in the release. “The opportunity to do something unique, innovative and authentic for St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay Rays fans is truly exciting.”

Rendering shows people gathered outside the stadium
Tampa Bay Rays
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Courtesy
The open feel of the stadium itself is also an effort to make it "fully integrated with the surrounding development and adjacent neighborhoods."

The open feel of the stadium itself is also an effort to make it "fully integrated with the surrounding development and adjacent neighborhoods," according to the team.

That includes shops, restaurants, and other places where people can gather before and after games, as well as non-game days — and a way to attract non-residents and serve as a tourist destination.

Designers also envision the stadium as a multi-function facility that can be used for concerts and community events.
Tampa Bay Rays
/
Courtesy
Designers also envision the stadium as a multi-function facility that can be used for concerts and community events.

Designers also envision the stadium as a multi-function facility "for St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay region" that can be used throughout the year — and not just baseball. Designs call for field seating and a stage that can be used for concerts, festivals, and community events.

The St. Petersburg City Council and the Pinellas County Commission are expected to vote on the ballpark in July.

I wasn't always a morning person. After spending years as a nighttime sports copy editor and page designer, I made the move to digital editing in 2000. Turns out, it was one of the best moves I've ever made.